"...I'm the only one that's vulnerable..."
Who: Desmond and Raina What: How all my characters escape into alcohol (part 1) When: Mid afternoon Where: University Park Rating: R... jeebus! Status: COMPLETE
Desmond had been rather surprised when he'd walked into a "Liquor" store, and found the sorts of assortments of alcohol inside of it, but did not find a single bottle of truly aged wine. It amazed him as well when he was told exactly how much a bottle of such things would cost. It was true that everything was more expensive in this day and age, but the relative expenses were quite a bit more as well. Ages ago, finding a good bottle of finely aged wine was not a task that only they wealthy could undergo, but rather, anyone who had a fine occassion. In fact, back then, it was easier to find it by the barrel rather than finding something that had been stored in smallish looking bottles.
After enough searching, however he found a bottle of sufficiently old vintage for $500 a piece, and promptly bought a couple of bottles of it. Once, in a rather interesting state, Balthazar had keenly told him that only the classless got drunk on anything short of a fine wine. Desmond had not necessarily bought that at the time, but then, given the fact that he had not tasted anything in hundreds of years, he supposed that he should probably do it in the manner suggested by an old friend. Upon buying the wine, he bought also a couple of large mouthed wine glasses to go with it, and quietly headed out to a park bench on campus to drink. It was something of a matter of necessity given the fact that without daylight his body would rather quickly oxidize anything except a thick blood...
Sitting down, Desmond quietly pulled out one of the bottles of wine, undid the cork, and slowly poured himself a glass before pouring another glass on the opposite side of him. It was an odd custom that Balthazar had taught him, perhaps for fear of one actually drinking alone. He wasn't certain what it meant, but in the times before he had ever tasted alcohol he saw Balthazar doing it several times, so he simply went with it without asking the origin of the tradition. Now he really wished that he knew all of what there was to know behind it. Raising one glass to Balthazar, a tradition that he did know, he inhaled deeply to appreciate the bouquet of the wine before taking a sip. Finding his thoughts wander, sadly, to a less than happy place.
The pens stunk worse than animal cages, and when ones sense of smell was enhanced, it only made it that much worse. Several of the slaves had emptied their stomachs recently having only been fed on minimal gruel and moldy bread that they had eaten without thinking for being starved for days. The dark haired slave amongst them, a boy not more than a summer or two past his tenth felt his stomach growl as well. Though while the others had feasted upon the bread that was there he had managed to catch himself a rat. Though he had never considered such a thing he'd actually been forced to hide it, for he was not the only one who was hungry enough to eat a rat amongst the slaves, not by half. Though he was the only one who would drain it of it's blood rather than eating the flesh of it.
Looking around, he could see that he was not the only boy here, in fact, there were actually several. He did not envy the other ones, however, as several of them were being fondled by the parade of people that was in front of them, before their mouths were opened. There was a darkness in the men's eyes who touched them, and they sensed it, their young bodies shivering as their mouths were pried open and their teeth checked, before the men would move onto the next one of them. None of the men went near him, however, and their eyes instead of having that dark glare when they looked at him looked more like the boy's eyes, frightened and scared of what might happen if they were left alone with him.
Slowly they were brought up to the platform, lined up 5 at a time before they were bid upon. 'D' as he had come to refer to himself did not know what was going on in the slightest. Quietly he watched as 5 a time packs of slaves were sold off at a time. Slowly then he was lead up upon the platform. The person was shouting out numbers, that much D did recognize. They were amounts of coin. He had watched it happen in the marketplaces as he'd passed through. People would shout numbers back and forth at each other over things, and then one would give shiny metal disks to the other in exchange for what they wanted. Usually the numbers referred to the numbers in the trade... D did not know what it was that the numbers meant here.
Finally he was lead up onto the platform along with 4 others. Numbers began to get shouted as he stared blankly into the crowd. Out of the crowd a pair of dusky blue eyes stared at him from beneath a hood. They did not blink the way that most peoples did. They were beautiful, though he could not see what they belonged to. They made him feel... vulnerable. No other eyes in the entire room were looking at him, only those blue eyes dared to stare at him. He could see the crowd pointing at the other slaves beside him, and some were lead off of the platform, but he stayed up. When the auctioneer stared to point towards him, the yelling in the room grew so silent that D could hear their hearts beating.
From the back of the room then, a soft feminine voice said a number and mentioned something about a "cursed one". D did not know what number was offered, but he recognized the look of distaste on the auctioneer's face. The actioneer attempted to haggle, but the same number was presented again. As it was presented again D could hear as the older man next to the owner of the blue eyes told her in a heated whisper to pick another slave, that there was no point in getting something that had been cursed by the gods themselves. The owner of the blue eyes' tone seemed to grow more agitated with the older man:
"You told me I could have whichever I picked. And I choose him. Are you retracting your word, Father?" came the accusing tone. There was silence then, and before anything else was said the actioneer begrudgingly accepted the offer, roughly throwing D towards the crowd, causing him to stumble a little. The people around him backed up violently as he stumbled close to them, and the cloaked figure came up to take the chain that held his shackles, tugging him roughly through the crowd, which parted as he passed, staring at him, and more importantly the person who had paid something for him.
D was lead out towards a large cart which had a covering over the back. As he got closer to it, he could see that it was a cell. Without much ceremony he was tossed into the back of it, and was exposed to a sea of legs that at first roughly pushed him back until realizing what it was that he was. At which point the other slaves inside of the cart did their best to press to the opposite side of the cell than him. D quietly sat down and tilted his head at them, trying to offer a smile, showing his gleaming fangs as he did so. The reaction made him stop smiling and quietly lower his head.
"I do not see why you had to buy the cursed one, Maris." Came a gruff voice from the front of the wagon as it started to move. D had learned to recognize tension in a voice, and the older man's voice had plenty of it. His pale blue eyes moved towards the front of the cell, where there was a small slot with bars on it. What was on the other side of those bars made him gasp. It was those dusky blue eyes that had been staring at him intently, now looking at him with something else, an intense look of pleasure as they stared at him.
"You said I could pick whichever slave I wanted for my own. Besides, I have black hair and blue eyes too, do you really think that I am marked by Hades?" her voice was commanding and yet soft, alluring. D found himself wanting to reach towards the bars when the eyes vanished but they soon returned, looking at him as if he were some gift waiting to be unwrapped. "He's looking at me. I think he's more intelligent than the other ones are." the soft voice said with a hint of excitement.
D tried to smile at her, displaying his teeth as well. The blue eyes blinked rapidly for a moment, but they did not look away the way that other people's eyes did. D felt a little warmer as he pulled his knees to his chest and let the long ride drone on.
When they got to the villa, D blinked as he stepped out. He'd never seen such an amazing landscape, it was literally breathtaking. As he looked out over the land he could see slaves being whipped as they tended the fields. Wide eyed, he wondered at the people who worked out there, wondering if they were going to whip him as well, or if he would be still allowed out at night in order to find the small creatures to drain of their blood.
He walked silently down the path until one of the masters picked him out of the line and forced him out of it. Not explaining, they dragged him to a cobble stone path where he had water tossed upon him and was stripped. his hands forced above him by chains he wiggled slightly as other slaves washed him, the sensation of their hands cleaning him strange in a way that would not have been unpleasant were it for the fact that he was unable to control it, and even when he cried out they scrubbed his skin until it felt raw.
When they were done he was dressed, again without his consent, in strange wrappings around his waist. The shirt that he had once had was left behind, leaving him bare from anything save the midsection, and a pair of sandals that they put upon his feet. The only other raiment they gave to him was a polished collar that looked as if it were silver, but it was not, as he testing tugged at it, it suggested that it was made of some form of steel and yet mad another metal on top of it to make it look prettier than it's true intention.
"Do you speak?" The slave master said gruffly, and then slapped D when he did not respond immediately. "DO YOU SPEAK?" He growled again.
"Yes." D replied, having taught himself learning based off of others. "Very little."
"Good, then you are not so stupid as to not understand my words. The mistress has taken a liking to you, and you are her pet. If you try to hurt her, you will die. If you disobey her, you will die. Your life before now has no meaning, you are hers, without question. Do you understand, rat?"
"Yes." D said quietly, though he was not certain that he really did.
With a grunt the master motioned to two surly looking slaves who unshackled him and then dragged him towards the large house. D gaped at it so much that he almost tripped on the steps as he was forced up them, and through the halls until he was tossed into a room. It smelled of sweet spices that tickled his nose. At the center of it stood a girl, neatly wrapped in a dress that was fitting for the time, but fit her lean frame amazingly. Black hair like midnight itself uncoiled around her shoulders as she stared at him with those deep blue eyes. D gasped a little as he remained on his knees in front of her.
She was the most beautiful thing that he'd ever seen.
"You look somewhat damaged, slave. I shall have to instruct them to be more gentle the next time they give you a bath." the girl said softly as she lowered herself in front of him to look him in the eye. She didn't look more than a few years older than he, but there was a confidence in her eyes that was ageless. D blinked up at her, as her lips pressed to his own.
The most beautiful woman in the world was kissing him. He could feel his eyes close as he leaned into it, feeling his heart racing like that of a wild beast being chased, the rest of him remaining dead still for fear that she would move back from it. It made his head spin, feeling as if the earth was moving itself, like electricity was flowing from her to him. When the dryads had kissed him, it was, pleasant... but this was... this was something else.
But then she was pulling from him, and he was pressing his hands to the ground to keep from falling forward, looking at her wide eyed.
"Hmm, that was more fun than I expected it to be." The girl commented idly as she touched her lips, smiling down at him as she stood. "You may have heard my father calling me Maris, but it is a stupid name, I think. Mari is much nicer, don't you think? I think that you and I are going to be good friends, little slave boy."
Desmond blinked a little as he snapped out of his reverie, looking at the bottle that he had opened. It was already most of the way empty, and as he stared at the glass in his hand he realized that he had forgotten how many times he had refilled it a little. Much like back then, his head was starting to swim, though this time it was for an entirely different reason. He realized, with a little bit of a chuckle, that he was indeed far past a little bit tipsy, and the realization of it made him smile softly.
For once though, it felt as if the past was not quite as painful as he remembered it being, and a girl named Beth who had burned at his heart for the time that he had come here now felt like a hazy dream that he couldn't quite recall. Laying his head down on his arm as he poured the remainder of the first bottle into his glass, he smiled a little. Drunk as he was, anyone could sneak up on him at this point, but it didn't feel like mattered. Maybe this was why people became drunkards in the first place...